Bert Weiss on Jeff Dauler’s departure: ‘I do take it very personally’

Bert Weiss (left) worked with Jeff Dauler for 14 years. Their final day on air together was this past Monday. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

Bert Weiss (left) worked with Jeff Dauler for 14 years. Their final day on air together was November 2, 2015. CREDIT: Rodney Ho/rho@ajc.com

By RODNEY HO/ rho@ajc.com, originally filed Wednesday, November 11, 2015

On air Wednesday morning, Bert Weiss of Q100’s Bert Show expressed his anger and shock over his long-time co-host Jeff Dauler’s sudden departure last week to rival Star 94.

At the same time, he expressed gratitude and respect for Dauler’s talents and contributions to the show over nearly 15 years on air together. Dauler was the last original member of Weiss’ team besides Weiss himself.

When Dauler gave him and the staff the surprising news last Tuesday, Weiss said he was “so filled with rage,” he left the room, telling Dauler he didn’t want to say anything he’d regret later.

Dauler’s exact time slot and his on-air partner or partners on Star have not been finalized, but he will be allowed to go on air there in February, 2016.

Weiss said he has a difficult time not taking moments like this personally. While his head may tell him Dauler is merely making a business decision that may be better for his career, his heart feels abandonment.

“I am not good at this kind of thing,” Weiss said on air, acknowledging it had something to do with the way he was raised. “It hurts me… I do take it very personally. I don’t get over things very easily.”

He said he wished he had “a gear where I can forgive quickly. Look, Jeff may not feel like there’s anything to forgive. That’s fine with me. I’m not at that place yet. I’m still trying to choose my words very closely. I don’t want to disrespect our time together.”

He then read a statement he wrote that he posted on Facebook as well.

In part, he wrote that he has a hard time separating his personal life from business. “I do what almost every management book out there tells you not to do: I’m friends with my colleagues.”

Weiss likes the idea of a family of people “struggling together, winning together, losing together, supporting each other… I want it to be intimate… You have to be vulnerable. That’s the price everybody on the Bert Show pays when they join our club. We had a lot of tears in the office last week. That’s awesome to me. It reminded me how much we really do care about each other. It’s like a sudden and unexpected loss of a family member.”

Weiss, with 17 radio stations syndicating his show daily, said the feeling of responsibility “weighs on me every day,” that sales people, programming people, his own staff are relying on him for their livelihood and paychecks.

He then said the more logical, rational part of him knows that “Jeff is in a new, exciting stage of life. He’s supremely talented. And has earned the right to be in a position to have his own identity and own show. I really want that man to be happy. I’m extraordinarily grateful we had this tenure together. I was lucky to walk in this studio for 15 years and laugh with him, strategize with him, win with him, lose with him, grow with him, watch him grow.”

He remembers in the early years, when they pulled off a highway to admire the very first Bert Show billboard. “We were like little kids,” he said. ” I thought in the last few years Jeff and I had become closer than ever.”

Weiss said he wished the departure hadn’t been so abrupt, that he could have given Dauler a more respectful and honorable goodbye on air.

While he feels “deeply sad,” he does not want “this last page to define an epic era together, an era that was in very large part due to his talents. So I’m eternally thankful and hope he finds the same satisfaction and joy he’s allowed me to have doing the Bert Show with him all these years.”

Last week, the radio host said he wasn’t in the right state of mind to talk about it. He said he wanted to talk about it once “and move on,” calling the entire situation “exhausting.”

He had promised to do so Tuesday but when he realized it was Dauler’s birthday, he decided to wait 24 hours. “I didn’t want the dude getting texts and things on his birthday,” Weiss said.

Here’s the entire audio:


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